It's Week 16, so tank talk is expected.
In Jacksonville, it's a hot topic, especially after the Jets did the Jaguars a favor by finally winning a game Sunday. But Doug Marrone isn't coaching with the goal of tanking, because even though there are water tanks (pools, for humans) in Jacksonville's home stadium, on-field tanking isn't exactly going to preserve his employment with the Jaguars -- even if it meant securing the top pick and quarterback of the future.
"No one's advised me anything different than to go out there and win," Marrone said Monday, via ESPN. "I mean I was young growing up and had a favorite team and was excited to see where they were going to pick. I look back and I understand, but, I mean ... we're trying to win. I mean, we're doing everything we possibly can and that's my job right now and I owe it to the coaches and players.
"None of us are going to look at this and the future. No one knows what's going to happen tomorrow, never mind at the end of the year. But I do understand the question and appreciate it."
Way back at the start of Week 2, the Jaguars weren't thinking about the draft, or Trevor Lawrence. They were enjoying a Victory Monday, which preceded 13 straight losses. That one win made a painful season miserable because it meant the Jaguars still needed help to make the most of a forgettable campaign.
The Jets provided such assistance with their victory over the Rams. Now, it's a close race to see who finishes worse -- a race no decent competitor wants a part of, especially in today's results-based NFL.
"I feel a sense of responsibility," Marrone said. "I've always taken a lot of pride of being able to get a football team to play well and a team that people can be proud of. I think when people start talking about that then they know that you're not obviously performing to the level that you want to perform to. Myself personally it's very difficult for me to manage a team to really read about what goes on or what people say or anything like that, so I really don't pay a lot of attention to that. I've just got too much going on.
"But I'm not an idiot, either. I understand that there's talk out there. I just think the way today's world is everyone's going to have their opinion, everyone's going to write what they want to write, and they're free to do it. That's why it's such a great country."
That great country was founded on the principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. No one's happy when they're losing, but Jags fans might be very happy in April. It just won't arrive purposely, not if Marrone has anything to do with it.